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Just Say Cheese!

So, I sat down this evening to pound out a re-cap of the last week… two weeks? I think week. I stared blank faced at the white screen trying to remember what, exactly, we have been up to. It’s all been such a blur. The fact that it’s almost September of 2017 BLOWS MY MIND!! Anyway, I realized the only way I could remember what we did more than a day ago was to look at the pictures I’ve taken. It’s literally a journal of our adventures when I don’t have time to write (err… type) it all out. I do this on a regular basis, even when it’s not for a blog post. When I’m contemplating what we did over the past few days, I check my photos on my phone to refresh my memory. I’m not a professional. I don’t even own a fancy camera, it’s all iPhone goodness over here. Holding my phone camera in ready position sometimes makes me feel self-conscious and too much like a millennial, but with the busyness of my mind, it’s a blessing to be able to document my children’s early years. I so often hear older women reminding new mamas to soak it all in, take a moment to remember it all because it doesn’t last. Sometimes it’s hard to see the silver lining when you’re stuck in the fog and rain, but staring at the blank screen and realizing I couldn’t remember what all we had done just in the past week made me wonder how on earth I would remember things 20+ years from now. So without further delay, I made a list (Y’all knew that was coming, right) of why I will always be that lady with her camera:

  1. For the sake of memory. Not yours, not even totally theirs, but MINE. I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast this morning… or if I even did. Yes, this event (whatever that may be) is fun, exciting and is (supposed to be) memorable, but I’m not sure I will remember the look on my sons face when his toes first touched the sand, or my daughters’ joy when she nails sounding out a word. It’s interesting the things our brains choose for us to remember, but not interesting enough for me to trust it with things I want to remember.
  2. Reflection. I like to reflect on the things we’ve been doing in my quiet time. I look back at things that went “wrong” and consider whether they were actually “wrong, ” or I was being too controlling. Or, if I was angry, I like to consider if it was actually called for or if I was hangry and blowing things out of proportion. We’re a family full of forgiveness and apologies (as I’ve talked about before in Why We Always Say I’m Sorry) and reflection during my quiet time gives me a chance to make sure I make things right with a kid I messed up with the day before. It happens daily.
  3. Family memories. This one is for yours, theirs, and everyone else’s memory. This one is why I ask Herman to photograph me, and why I try to capture it all. Why I photograph Heman when he’s less than pleased, and keep the pictures that aren’t “perfect.” I want a printed memory of every moment of our lives. The happy, the sad, the ugly, and the beautiful. It’s all going to be a distant blur in the future (as in, like, tomorrow for me) and I want a way to keep it fresh.

The next time you’re tempted to judge the lady with a camera, or her smart phone pointed at the fun, think about her why. And the next time I have my camera pointed in your direction, just smile. It means I love you! 😉

Just Say Cheese!

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Changing Tides

Something that, I think, you’d learn about my family when knowing us is that we have the ability to adapt to any situation at hand. It always astounds me how flexible Herman is to any significant change or last minute plan. There is zero chance you will find me happily making last minute plans that require me to prep for the outing…. a “real” outing in my family is anything that requires a hairbrush for the girls, and shoes for Ryder, who am I kidding, for any of them. I’m not a go-with-the-flow type person (which is funny considering the kind of homeschoolers we are) so last minute decisions or even a change of plans rocks me to my core. Do I deal with it? Yeah, sure. But I don’t like it or enjoy it. Like, for example, we’re no longer getting a new vehicle. We decided together (with more than a little pouting from me) that we would wait until next year and use the money saved to pay off debt and possibly dip our toes into some uncharted waters that I’ll talk about when the time comes. Herman is such an adult, and I was totally being “salty” as my sister and her friends would say so you can guess who’s being the bigger person. 😉

Monday I took the girls to their very first Girl Scouts meeting; it was more for the parents, but they were so happy to be there! We’re so excited to get started. They’re so excited they ask every day how much longer they have until their first official meeting. Herman and I took the girls out to lunch afterward, and Herman gave his stamp of approval on Scouts, and the girls felt treated since it turned into almost a full day without the boys. It will be quite a change for our family since the girls have never been part of any type of organized activities. It will be good though, I think. I really liked the moms, and the girls told me they enjoyed hanging out with the other girls.


We’re currently in the midst of a deep clean at the house. Our house has suffered greatly from my working. I got their rooms cleaned and put back together how I like them, and I’m purging the rest of the house now. I have a habit of getting wrapped up in the task at hand and sending the kids outside to do their own thing and turning them down when they ask me to join them, but today I took some time and went out to eat lunch with them. While I was wrapped up in a phone call in my bedroom, Ella and Hayden put together a picnic meal, and Lylah put a blanket out in a shady spot in the yard. They were so excited when I got off the phone there was no way I could say no! It is honestly exactly what I needed. Did anything get done while I was out there? No. But, I felt more relaxed and enjoyed the company of the kids.


Right now I’m tying up loose ends here at the house because we’re taking the kids to the beach this weekend. So, be prepared for loads of pictures, and an update on all we learned and enjoyed next week.

So much change is going on right now, and it kinda stresses me out, but the change is only what is going to take us back to what was a typical day for us before I started working and the change that looms on the horizon will be beneficial to our family. Change is hard, but ignoring it is harder.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”   George Bernard Shaw

 

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A Little of This, A Little of That

We haven’t been doing much and when we come home we kinda just fall into the house, the kids do whatever it is they’ve been dying to do (Chopped Kids At Home a.k.a destroy the kitchen) and I start to prep for the next day while getting dinner together. It amazes me how much I feel like I don’t see the kids, but how short my temper is with them. It seems that even though I don’t see them for eight hours straight, I come home a feel stretched thin. Like I’ve been saying no to them jumping off the roof all day when in reality I’ve not even seen them. I should love on them, inquiring about their days, but instead, I’m reminding them to shower, brush their teeth, eat dinner, and clean out their lunch bags and yelling when they don’t do as they’re told quickly. Ugh. It makes me feel like I need a much-needed break from them when in reality what I need is more of them. I’ll be going down to one day a week really soon, so hopefully, we can get back into what our routine usually is, and what is comfortable for all of us.

A few weeks ago Lylah was saying she couldn’t see what I wrote down for her to copy. My house is small, y’all, and what I wrote was taped to the kitchen cabinet, and she was sitting at the kitchen table. A trip to the eye doctor happened a week later. Poor girl actually can’t see very well and has a hardcore astigmatism in her right eye. I will totally admit when it was time to pick out her glasses I tried to be the good mom by telling her she could choose whichever she wanted (in the $100 glasses + lenses category, let’s be real) and there were some really cute options that I tried to push on her. Even a pair that I thought looked amazing on her, but she wasn’t interested in any of them. Right when we were about to go somewhere else to get her glasses she found the pair. A quirky pair of pink ombre glasses with an odd shape. They’re so her, and I wanted to make sure that she loved whatever she got (whether I did or not.) so my real opinion didn’t matter.

 

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Lylah in her new glasses

Tuesday my friend Amie and I took her son, Ryder, and Emma (hahaha) to see Cars 3. Watching the movie was fun… and by fun I mean it was great hanging out on the carpeted stairs at the very back of the theater with Ryder and Emma. It could have been worse, and Ryder said he had fun, so it was a win. BUT, the REAL fun was after the movies! Amie introduced me to ALDI!

 

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Me and Amie at Aldi

Who knew I was missing so much awesomeness!? There were a few things in there that were more expensive than HEB (where my heart will always belong) but overall the prices were excellent, and I got a large bag of trail mix for six dollars- I think that was the most significant price difference I noticed. We buy our eggs in bulk, so even though the eggs were .89 a dozen that’s not something I paid much mind to.

 Thursday we ended up doing a lot. I didn’t go into work, so we drove into Round Rock (read about how that went here– ya, know how I lost my cool and such.) to get my new phone, and then we got some more groceries, and headed home to CLEAN! I worked full time when Hayden and Ella were toddlers, and Lylah was a baby; I would leave my house clean in the morning, and it would be clean when I got home at night. That is NOT how things work now, in case you’re wondering. It’s a constant game of catch-up so that’s what we did. 


Then on Saturday we took a super long nature walk and came home equipped with some super awesome items! It felt good to do something we were used to doing during the week and the kids were happy to be bringing home random junk… er… treasures. Fun fact: Herman told the kids he used to eat those bean-looking things as a kid. They got a kick out of that!

Nature haul

How’s your week been?